Sunday, October 1, 2023

YOU ASKED IT | 29 September, 2023

How is Salaar releasing on 22nd December, the same day as Dunki?

– Obviously, to take advantage of the four-day Christmas weekend! Also, one hears that the religious advisers to the producers of SALAAR are said to have told them that 22nd December would be an auspicious day to release their film. That’s the reason they chose to come in direct opposition of DUNKI, the release of which had been finalised and announced many months earlier.

With Dunki and Salaar (dubbed) clashing at the box-office, what will the position of the exhibitors be?

– Exhibitors of single-screen cinemas will have a very tough time trying to balance the two films. Luckily for DUNKI, the distributors had signed their agreements with many single-screen cinemas of Delhi-U.P. just a day or two before the date of SALAAR (dubbed) was finalised. But in circuits where contracts of DUNKI have not been signed, exhibitors will be in a spot as distributors of both the films will try to arm-twist them into signing their film in preference to the other.

What did you think of the video of Tiger 3, released this week to market the film?

– Absolutely mind-boggling video! Going by the video, it can safely be predicted that the film — slated for release on Diwali — will take an outstanding initial.

YOU ASKED IT | 22 September, 2023

How far is Gadar 2 from becoming the biggest Hindi blockbuster?

– Just Rs. 2 crore! PATHAAN, the biggest so far, had netted Rs. 524 crore (Hindi version only). GADAR 2 closed its 6th week (which got over on 21st September) at Rs. 522 crore. Interestingly, even as GADAR 2 is inching its way to becoming the biggest Hindi blockbuster, Shah Rukh Khan’s JAWAN is also all set to overtake PATHAAN… and also GADAR 2. That means, GADAR 2 will enjoy the status of being the biggest Hindi film for a few days, after which it will have to make way for JAWAN to occupy the top position. Interestingly, it took six years for the record of BAHUBALI 2: THE CONCLUSION (Hindi dubbed) to be broken (by PATHAAN). It took six months for the record of PATHAAN to be broken (by GADAR 2). And it will take a couple of weeks for the record of GADAR 2 to be broken (by JAWAN (Hindi)).

Will Animal release on 1st December? And will Dunki release on 22nd December? Or are they likely to be postponed?

– Both, ANIMAL and DUNKI, will definitely release on their scheduled dates.

After the stupendous initial of Jawan, which will be the next film to take a flying start?

– Of course, TIGER 3!

YOU ASKED IT | 15 September, 2023

Why is there no new film release this week?

– Producers of big films wanted to steer clear of JAWAN in its week of release as well as the following week because it was expected to do great business. As for the producers of small films, who are actually on the lookout for a week when no big film is scheduled for release, many among them must have been wary of releasing their film in the Ganpati festival week.

Will Gadar 2 overtake the collections of Pathaan in India?

– Yes, it will, in all likelihood. PATHAAN had netted Rs. 524 crore in Hindi while the total of GADAR 2 so far is Rs. 517 crore. The latter film needs Rs. 7 crore more to equal the former.

Was it fair for exhibitors to discontinue Gadar 2 to accommodate Jawan last week in spite of Gadar 2 still yielding shares?

– But such things happen all the time, so why make an issue in the case of GADAR 2 and JAWAN only. In Gujarat, several exhibitors discontinued Gujarati film 3 EKKA to make way for JAWAN despite the fact that 3 EKKA was still going great guns at the ticket windows. As they say, everything’s fair in love, war and business!

YOU ASKED IT | 8 September, 2023

With films performing well at the turnstiles, does it mean that the crowds are back to the cinemas?

– Yes, the crowds are back to the cinemas and how! All those negative motormouths, who hoped that Bollywood would never revive, are in such a state of shock that the question now is: how will they revive themselves?

The record of Bahubali 2: The Conclusion took almost six years to be broken by Pathaan. The record of Pathaan may be broken by Gadar 2 in a couple of weeks, and if that happens, it will mean that the record of Pathaan will have been broken in a matter of six months. What does this mean?

– It means, happy times for the film trade. Whenever a formidable record is smashed within months, it can only imply that business is booming! The record of GADAR 2 (if it breaks the record of PATHAAN) may well be broken by JAWAN in six weeks!

With the kind of phenomenal initial which Jawan took yesterday (Thursday, September 7), Tiger 3 now has big shoes to fill in. Am I right?

– You are absolutely right! The start of JAWAN yesterday (September 7) was so outstanding that any film will find it difficult to break that record anytime soon.

YOU ASKED IT | 1 September, 2023

Now that the trailer of Jawan is out, any guesses on the first day’s all-India net collections?

– It could be the highest ever opening for a Hindi film. Highest ever!

How many different characters does Shah Rukh Khan play in Jawan?

– Why do you want to spoil your fun and that of others by asking me to reveal the number? Wait for five more days, and you shall see for yourself on the sixth day.

Why is a big star-cast film, like this week’s Kushi, released in its Hindi dubbed avatar without any promotion?

– It’s indeed strange! The producers expect Hindi film audience to throng the cinemas without any awareness about the film or its release, which is like waiting for a miracle to happen, perhaps.

YOU ASKED IT | 25 August, 2023

What kind of an initial will Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan take?

– A bumper initial is what Shah Rukh Khan’s JAWAN will take.

Will Utkarsh Sharma benefit due to the runaway success of Gadar 2?

– You bet, he will. Not just because the film is doing extraordinary business but also because he has performed well in the film and is being liked by people. There are already producers contemplating signing him. And they will sign him. Utkarsh’s leading lady, Simrat Kaur, is also similarly popular because she is beautiful and a good actress.

What has struck such a chord in people’s hearts that Gadar 2 is unstoppable?

– The sentiments — both, about the country as well as the family sentiments!

YOU ASKED IT | 18 August, 2023

You tweeted earlier this week about social media influencers being paid by some producers to write glowing reviews of their films at the time of release. But the trade gets to know very fast which review is bought and which is impartial. Then what is the sense in paying influencers to write positive reviews?

– It is not just social media influencers but also critics and trade analysts who are involved in this racket of writing/posting/broadcasting reviews for money. This is telling upon the credibility of not just the community of journalists but also of producers, which is bad because the public already has a very negative image of the industry people, and this kind of practice doesn’t help in salvaging the image. What is even worse is that such paid tamasha stretches even beyond the reviews and manipulates the reporting of actual box-office collections. The two purposes such reviews and comments serve are: to massage the egos of the producers, directors and actors of those films; and to misguide the public which, in the first place, is not concerned with the box-office collections as much as it is concerned about the entertainment quotient in films. I tweeted because some such paid trade analysts, critics and social media influencers kept on running down those who had written/posted/broadcast genuine reviews of the recently released big-budget films while falsely announcing how those films had proven to be blockbusters at the box-office. I was targeted too. And one of the persons targeting me on Twitter was the content head of the production house which had produced the film so being glorified as a blockbuster rather than the box-office success which it actually was and which I had rightly predicted, it would be!! Can you believe this? Of course, the mischief-makers ran for cover (along with the producers, I’m sure) once GADAR 2 turned out to be the real blockbuster — without the support of those paid social media influencers, trade analysts and critics who sell their souls and their reviews. The unfortunate part for these liars was that GADAR 2 came in quick succession of the films which were being touted as blockbusters. Someone had to take a stand and expose such practices. I decided to do it. And I must add, the response of the Twitterati to my exposing tweets was phenomenal.

Why did R. Balki not postpone his Ghoomer instead of releasing it this week, in spite of the tough opposition of Gadar 2 which is still going great guns at the box-office?

– The all-India distributors of the film, PEN Marudhar Cine Entertainment, felt, there was no opportune date for releasing GHOOMER in the near future even if it were to be postponed. PEN Marudhar itself has DREAM GIRL 2 and THE VACCINE WAR for releasing in the forthcoming few weeks. But yes, I agree with you. A film like GHOOMER needed to be handled with kid gloves and needed to be released with a lot of planning, love and care. It deserved special attention.

What was the reason for the previous week being so bountiful for the box-office?

– It was an extraordinary week with a national holiday on 15th for Independence Day, and a festive holiday on 16th for Parsi New Year. Also, three big films — GADAR 2, OMG 2 and RAJINI THE JAILER — released last week and they were appreciated by the paying public, and hence the audience showered all their love on the three films!

YOU ASKED IT | 11 August, 2023

Did you expect this kind of initial for Gadar 2?

– What do you mean by asking whether we expected this kind of initial for GADAR 2. In our article dated August 5, we had predicted that the GADAR EK PREM KATHA sequel would take a flying start. Here’s the link to that article.

‘GADAR 2’ SET FOR A FLYING START! | 5 August, 2023

Have the producers of OMG 2 made a mistake by releasing the film on the same day as Gadar 2?

– The producers of OMG 2 must’ve been eyeing the Independence Day holiday on Tuesday in the first week. As far as the first day’s (today, 11th August) collections are concerned, OMG 2 seems to have been badly hit by the opposition (GADAR 2). Let’s wait and watch for what happens on Independence Day. If the collections of OMG 2 on 15th August are extraordinary, its producers may have reason to not call their release strategy a mistake.

Why do producers not make more action films like Gadar 2? I am asking this question because I own a single-screen cinema, and the initial of Gadar 2 at my cinema is historic. It is after a long time that I have seen such huge crowds at my cinema.

– What you are saying about GADAR 2 is true. And yes, it is indeed a tragedy that most of the producers are not catering to the masses which frequent single-screen cinemas. Perhaps, that will change soon. After all, RRR, K.G.F. CHAPTER 2, PATHAAN and now GADAR 2 do tell a story — that masses cannot and should not be ignored!

YOU ASKED IT | 4 August, 2023

If lack of hit music was the reason for last week’s Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani not taking a flying start, what was the reason for the increase in collections on Saturday and Sunday?

– Mouth publicity. Since people coming out of the cinemas spoke well about the film, collections picked up during the weekend.

Between Gadar 2 and OMG 2, which, according to you, will take a better initial on 11th August?

– I think, GADAR 2 will open bigger than OMG 2, at least in the North Indian circuits like Delhi-U.P., East Punjab and Rajasthan.

Can’t a programme be devised for the fair allotment of shows to new and already-running films in multiplexes every week?

– That’s a very tough call because one would not know what the public response to a new film would be.

YOU ASKED IT | 28 July, 2023

Why was a film like Barbie not dubbed in Hindi and South Indian languages, like other Hollywood films are?

– The studio never expected BARBIE to fare so well in India in direct opposition of OPPENHEIMER. The collections of the original English version of BARBIE must’ve come as a pleasant surprise to the studio itself.

Can you explain the below-the-mark opening of this week’s Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani?

– I can think of the lack of popularity of its music as the main reason for the slow start of the film. Other reasons like the general reluctance of people to go to the cinemas to watch Bollywood films also contributed, but the absence of super-hit songs in the film was the chief reason.

Will Gadar 2 open well on 11th August?

– There’s a lot of craze for the GADAR EK PREM KATHA sequel in North Indian circuits.